Last year, Scott Kingery and the Philadelphia Phillies surprised the baseball world when agreeing to a long-term deal before the infielder ever played a game in the majors — demonstrating a commitment for both sides on the player’s ability and role for future Phillies teams to come.
Today, the Chicago White Sox are rumored to make the same move by coming to terms with a long-term contract with their number one prospect, Eloy Jimenez, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan and Z101 Hector Gomez.
Top outfield prospect Eloy Jimenez and the Chicago White Sox are finalizing a long-term deal, league sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 20, 2019
BREAKING NEWS: The White Sox are close to an agreement with Eloy Jimenez for an 8-year extension that would pay him between 65-70 US$ Million. With Incentives the contract could get to the 75-80 million Range. Source says deal is pending only a Physical.@z101digital @ZDeportes— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) March 20, 2019
Kingery’s deal is set up to pay him $24 million during his arbitration years, and three options after that total $42 million. Altogether Kingery’s contract could be nine years, $66 million.
According to The Athletic’s, Ken Rosenthal, Jimenez’s first six seasons will pay him $43 million with two club options. Passan tweeted that those options could push the total contract to eight years, $77 million.
Eloy Jimenez’s deal with the Chicago White Sox will be for six years and $43 million, as @Ken_Rosenthal said. It will include a pair of club options and can max out around $77 million, sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 20, 2019
Now, does this mean we will we see Jimenez on Opening Day with the White Sox? Not much of a point in trying to game service time if a long-term contract is already in place, and let’s face it, Jimenez proved International League pitching last year is not much of a test. This new deal could shuffle manager Rick Renteria’s plans for the Opening Day 25-man roster but in a good way.
This is just one fan’s opinion, but this seems like the FO’s attempt at damage control with the majority of the fanbase that they severely angered this off-season.
As such, sorry, this doesn’t do anything to alleviate how badly they ****ed up this winter.
Good on Eloy for getting paid though.
This isn’t damage control. This was a straight leverage play by the Sox.
Who probably would not have done this had they not messed up at the magnitude that they did in the prior months.
This is just what teams do to try to lock top prospects into extensions now.
I get that. But do you really think they’d do this had they not messed up so badly with Machado? I don’t.
They probably tried the same thing with Moncada.
I’ve never heard anything like that reported, or even rumored, with him.
The Eloy thing was rumored for a couple weeks.
I highly doubt they tried this with Moncada since they probably want to see something first.
Moncada got the big signing bonus, so he had less incentive to sign a team-friendly extension.
Less leverage isn’t no leverage. Delaying free agency by a year and pushing him last Super Two are both big hits.
I think Kenny was quite clear they could not have afforded to do this had they signed Machado.
If you read between the lines, Kenny said they were never serious about signing Machado.
This is only the 3rd contract extension of its kind, hardly “just what teams do”.
This is the 3rd time teams have found a taker, you mean.
@Brett R. Bobysud
I don’t think it’s true at all that this is a publicity move. There’s been rumors about getting this done since August.
And even if it was to save face, who cares? It’s still a good move. The team deserves all the guff in the world, but let’s not let that cloud judgement.
Someone posted this last year, but this time it’s for real- “Eloy’s comin, hide your heart, girl”.
I might be mistaken but I don’t think Eloy can come back from Charlotte until 10 days into the season, since he was optioned. The big question here is that because he was optioned in the offseason, can he spend those 10 days like, right now, and be ready for when the season starts? I wouldn’t think so, but I could be wrong.
In any event, I think the White Sox will probably want to make “Eloy Day” an event, and that probably points to a home game. My guess is that they’ll call him up for the first home night game, April 15th, now that they don’t need to care about leaving him in the minors for 20 days.
Time to read the CBA – which is becoming my favorite reading material.
If they can’t bring him up for 10 days, then this was just another in the long list of bonehead moves by these clowns. It would be so typical of these idiots to have the player with the largest contract in team history start the season in the minors. What morons!
In a year where the twins, tigers, and royals should all be trash, and the Indians appear to intentionally be taking a step back, it would be pretty damn hilarious for this front office to keep down its highest upside player just to make a few bucks. I just want them to do one thing, just one, that makes me think they’re interested in winning. At least pretend!
But you got an entire offseason of them pretending to be interested in winning. Can’t ask for more than that!
Yes, generally a player optioned on minor league assignment during Spring Training has to remain in the minors for the first 10 days of the regular season.
The exceptions are 26th man for doubleheader, replacing injured/bereavement list players, or trade/waiver acquisitions.
How do options of this sort work to begin with? I’m familiar with the whole option structure during the regular season, but I didn’t think he was ever on majors roster to be optioned away from it. And there’s definitely a clear distinction between reassignment and options, so I clearly don’t know much.
Jimenez was on the 40-man roster. That triggers the option calendar and rules. Jimenez was recalled to the major league club with the end of the regular season. He was assigned to major league camp during Spring Training.
Being reassigned to AAA and minor league camp required the Sox to trigger an optional assignment. But Jimenez won’t burn an option year unless he spends 20 days in the minors during the regular season. If he didn’t have any option years left then the DFA/waiver process would’ve applied. And if he was a veteran with enough service time he could refuse the assignment and become a free agent.
Interesting. So 15 players on the 40 man always burn an option to start the year?
Basically. Like with Rule 5 draft eligibility, the whole point is to prevent teams from stockpiling players in the minors.
Some of those players will be out of option years, though, and have to clear waivers to be reassigned.
Passan seems to think Eloy can come up right away.
For the record, I don’t necessarily thing that Passan is right. It really feels to me like what karko said is correct. I definitely could be mistaken on this but would really like some proof.
It’s not the CBA, it’s in the rulebook. Rule 11, page 80. The key is that the 10-day rule specifies “days of the championship season” which means after Opening Day.
So if anybody starts the season on the DL (does Kopech count?), Eloy could take that player’s place on the active roster, right?
Pretty sure Kopech was already placed on the injured list and the Sox have a full active roster. So not really sure what roster contortions they can make to get commissioner approval without someone else being moved to the IL.
I think when it comes to the counting of days, there’s a bit of distinction between the CBA and the rulebook. Which one takes precedence?
The CBA interestingly leaves out the phrase “championship season” when outlining counting option days on two occasions (pgs. 89 and 105), and only uses the phrase when referring to the counting of service time.
The CBA also uses “championship season.”
They do there in reference to the counting of service time, but in the following paragraph about counting option days in general, they do not. They read as independent of each other.
The CBA is not referring to service time generally there, it’s discussing the option calendar specifically which is why the end of that paragraph cites Rule 11.
“Championship”…heh! Also, “fewer.”
@karkovice squad Good job. So we’ll see him April 15.
So what you said on The Score ends up being correct!
@PauliePaulie Woooooo hooooo!!!!
@Patrick Nolan Unless they want to get an extra week of trying to win games, then maybe 4/8 vs the Rays.
…but who are we kidding.
@karkovice squad This still feels weird. So if someone got hurt Opening Day, the Sox couldn’t call up any 40-man players because they were all optioned. So basically you have to make room on the 40-man if anyone gets hurt in the first few days of the season? Seems like there should be a workaround.
@Patrick Nolan An optioned player who hasn’t yet spent 10 days on assignment can replace an active player who gets moved to one of the inactive lists.
This is MLB, the Dodgers basically used a 30 man roster last year finagling the DL. We really think the league is going to step in and not be called up when the Sox put a bad outfielder on the DL with an oblique or something?
The Sox do have a history of creative injury list management. But at the moment Delmonico’s back in action so they’re going to have to go digging for a pretext.
Does it have to be a direct replacement? Hamilton and Santana can both end up being considered “injured” to start the year. Merkin’s and Fegan’s articles seem to think Eloy will start the season with the Sox
It doesn’t have to be a direct replacement other than roster construction considerations. Also, the Sox still have to make cuts just to get to 25 on the active roster and Santana’s still assigned to Charlotte.
Do they? Don’t they just say Delmonico came back but didn’t “feel completely right” so he wants to chill for a couple weeks?
Individual scenarios aside, the premise here just seems preposterous. The league, following a winter of negative publicity, is going to rise up to stick it to one of its most powerful, longest tenured owners, by preventing fans from seeing one of the most anticipated young stars in the game? All in the name of enforcing a generally unenforceable rule that the entire league knows is a joke? What exactly is the motivation there?
You actually need some kind of diagnosis from a physician.
Conveniently, Jay didn’t play today because of a sore hip.
So what you’re saying is be on the lookout for Delmonico to have some of those concussion issues from running into a fence last week resurface. That or just have Tilson and Cordell have a footrace to get the last seat on the plane when camp breaks, as that probably gets you at least one if not multiple broken bones somehow.
Really impressed with this kid’s work ethic. A week ago he was so awful defensively he wasn’t even one of the top 25 players in the White Sox organization. With just one week of practice and dedication to his craft, he’s now worth $43 million+. Truly inspiring.
Amazing what a week of solid minor league instruction can do for a player!
It’s a real win for Chris Getz and the development staff.
Truthfully, He has not been good this spring.
Machado’s hitting .161 this spring. Maybe the Padres will send him down.
Out of options. Sorry
So 10 year contract for Mendick tomorrow?
I think they’re going to buy out Engel’s first few years of free agency. The rest of the league will be heartbroken. Trout one day, then Engel shortly after.
but why would they give $43 million to a .154 hitter?
They should have given this contract to Engel . . .
Amazing how Eloy is ready for a 6 year guaranteed ML contract 2 weeks after he wasn’t ready for a 25 man roster spot again.
Excellent cost controlled contract allowing Eloy to be a top trade chip after the ’21 season to jumpstart the next rebuild.
I’m still not convinced he’ll be in Chicago on Opening Day. It looks as if this extension has been in the works for a bit (Gomez’ original tweet a week ago got some major details wrong, but also wasn’t wholly wrong), and they’ve since sent Eloy down. Maybe some weird negotiating tactic? But I doubt it.
I’ve always thought keeping Eloy down was at least partially about service time, but I think Hahn and Co. really think he needs more time in the Minors. They’ve been excruciatingly slow to promote prospects, and with the first wave (Moncada, Giolito, Lopez, etc.) they showed no interest in manipulating service time. Hahn has repeatedly said: once they bring a player up they want him to stay up for good. And to be fair, he’s still yet to play a full season worth of games above A+.
I’m not defending this decision. I think he’s ready. But this has never felt like *purely* service time manipulation to me.
Notably, this deal reportedly gives them an option on the 7th year they’d give up by letting him acquire 172+ days of service time this year plus an option on a free agent year after that.
It’s not a strange negotiating tactic at all. It’s a transparently obvious one.
For reference, Moncada played 80 games in Charlotte before the Sox called him up. Eloy is at 55. Although… Moncada struck out every 3 ABs and Eloy strikes out every 7. Not to mention, Eloy mashes the ball: more than 150 points higher OPS than Moncada.
As for the deal itself, I am sure it is going to be celebrated like gangbusters, but once you actually look at what it guarantees Eloy and what it gets the White Sox, it doesn’t feel like a substantial coup. It’s great for Eloy, decent for the team.
If Eloy is good, I estimate that he can probably make about $60M through 2025, the otherwise end of his team control. This thing pushes that through 2026 for an extra $15-$20ish million. So you stop him from leaving and you effectively get a little discount on his services for that eighth year. But at the same time, it’s only one extra year, and you aren’t saving all that much money.
While the benefit to the White Sox is not huge, the risk is also not huge either. The fact that the last two years are team options can help limit losses to $43M if things go bad.
So essentially Eloy trades a little bit in potential earnings and risks health/performance through 2026 rather than 2025 to get $43M guaranteed, and the Sox guarantee Eloy an amount that’s unlikely to hurt them to hold onto him for one year longer. It’s a move that makes sense but is unlikely to make a huge difference.
The 4 things that make this look better for the Sox:
-if arb awards continue trending up
-if salary inflation returns over the next 7 years and that 8th year looks like a bargain
-if he’s a superstar and it’d cost triple to sign him to an extension
-if the next CBA accelerates free agency
Overall, it’s not as team-friendly as their other extensions or the other pre-debut contracts. But Jimenez did give up a lot of/the team got a low cap on his max potential earnings.
Yeah, also he isn’t an up the middle player providing a bunch of value from his glove and speed. If he’s as good as he looks, he’s going to put up the type of monster counting stats that has always gotten the huge arb figures.
This looks good all around, doesn’t it? Eloy Opening Day in Chicago would be awesome.
It would look a lot better if Harper or Machado would be hitting in front of him on Opening Day.
It really sucks I can’t bring myself to be happy about this.
Good for Eloy, I guess.
BA just adjusted their Draft Board and added 100 more. Go have fun there.
Kiley said in the FG chat today the Sox are looking college bat even if Adley and Vaughn are gone.
BA-“4 players seem to have put themselves into a tier of their own”
That would be Stott.
Do you think there is a semi-hard rule from JR or KW against using top picks on high school players?
Four of Williams and Hahn’s 24 first round picks have been high schoolers, including two in one year. Three never made the majors (Courtney Hawkins, Keon Barnum, Kris Honel), and the other is Gio Gonzalez. Notably, Tim Anderson was drafted from a community college, so I think he was eligible earlier than the big college prospects.
I’m aware of all of that. Was wondering if jimmy thought there was an edict that would prevent them from picking 2 players the industry believes are clearly superior prospects because they are high schoolers.
Nick Hostetler has said his preference is High school players, but he felt there were holes to fill in the system, and college players offered a quicker fix. Saying eventually he would like to add more high school players. The question is when will “that” time come.
Thanks. Missed that interview. Disheartening to hear them admit to drafting for perceived need over ceiling/bpa.
That is stupid.
I saw that. While he was actually answering saying aren’t as fatal as they seem, the breakdown was pretty sobering.
Kiley McDaniel: I would say yes, but things haven’t been going super well the last year or so. Kopech was going well then he blew out. Eloy is still going well but the body is pointing to 1B/DH pretty soon. The college corner bats in the draft (Collins, Burger, Sheets, Fisher, Call) haven’t done much. Dunning, Burdi, and Adolfo blew out. Robert hasn’t had a breakthrough yet. We believe in Madrigal but his debut raised some questions that weren’t really there before. Basabe and Rutherford don’t look like likely regulars to us anymore. Hansen got hurt and regressed. Moncada, Rodon, Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez haven’t been as advertised.
Kiley McDaniel: So, yes that a lot of bad fortune all strung together and not necessarily bad planning or picking the wrong players, as we were on Kopech, Eloy, Moncada, Dunning, Burdi, Adolfo, Robert, Madrigal and Rodon too. But when you’re trying to have a bunch of assets appreciate and form a core and most of the top assets depreciated, that’s just making things harder, even if it isn’t necessarily any one person’s fault.
P.S.: Pipeline’s immediate ejection of Dunning off the Top 100 list following the surgery announcement seems harsh.
Not really. Given he’d already missed a half season and now will miss another season and a half, that’s a lot of development time lost.
I completely agree. I’m happy for Eloy, but they have so screwed up this offseason that this is little consolation.
@PP What are you so pissed off about regarding the Eloy deal? Compartmentalize this one move from all the dumb moves/non-moves the Sox have made.
Because teams forcing players to make a choice between a delayed promotion and an extension is bullshit.
Sox FO has zero credibility with me right now.
Therefore, I view this as another underhanded PR ploy. To me, it looks like they used service time as a negotiating tool against Eloy, and want plaudits for inking him and forgivness for their still shit offseason.
Disappointed I can only “up-vote” this comment and karko’s above only once
If Eloy is allowed to start on the Opening Day roster, the 25-man decisions should be interesting. I’m thinking they may go with only 4 SPs for the first 2 weeks or so. That would allow them to carry an 8 man pen and 4 guys on the bench. Gives them a little extra time to make a decision
Christ man, better hope Eloy is the real deal and doesn’t flop like Moncada….
Moncada was an average player last year.
Fangraphs is also projecting him to be our best position player.
Damned with faint praise.
As with a previous discussion about Yolmer Sanchez, he’s about the last guy on the team anybody should be ragging on. Granted, there were glaring and severe issues with his game (strikeouts, errors), but he still produced average value despite those and showed the promise of a star player is still there.
The whole teams a flop then!
I think this trend is very risky for teams. Karko says is not new, but it’s becoming a bit more popular in recent years and it could hit teams in a bad way based on simple economics and human behavior.
Incentive is a powerful weapon. When you give barely a man, so much guaranteed money, set for life kinda money, the incentive to “make it happen” is tarnished. I am not saying this will happen with Eloy or Bregman, but sooner or later, we will see example of players with a lot of guaranteed money and diminished baseball skills due to poor conditioning (No incentive), and too much partying, etc.
Just imagine how much cocaine Josh Hamilton would have done if he had gotten his money when he was 20!
Andruw Jones was done before 30 due to poor conditioning
Jose Fernandez, RIP, had cocaine in his system on the day of the accident
Many athletes with elite talent, some are bound to fall prey of “screw conditioning, let’s enjoy life now, I am set for life” mentality.
Jose Fernandez doesn’t really back up the argument pushing since he hadn’t signed an extension.
Baseball players mostly want to win. They’re hyper-competitive alpha types. They’re mostly not the type to slack off because they got $20-40m guaranteed.
There’s always the much bigger pay day they’re playing towards when they do hit free agency.
And teams are being selective in who gets these offers. Like, look who the Sox have and have not extended.
Baseball players are human beings before they are baseball players. Many of them come from very humble origins. I am not saying most will slack off, but some will when the sample size is big enough. Just wait.
I remember CC Sabathia and Prince Fielder were just little guys back before they got paid!
Mike…my point is not that there wasn’t players with good work ethics. There are. Lots of them.
My point is that there’ll be guys who will fall off the work ethics code as more and more “kids” get a lot more money in advance. I think it’s human nature. We are not born with strong work ethic behaviors. it comes from the environment, parents, society, but sometimes it does not come at all, or we shut the door in front of it.
Doesn’t seem to be a big issue for the worlds’ best soccer players. Can’t recall that many stories about young players going off the rails once they started getting paid.
The voice in my head reacting to this using the sane part of my brain: “This is great. No more dumb games, and with the softest opening 30 games in memory, a ROY campaign from day one will be enjoyable to watch.”
The voice in my head reacting to this using the brain damaged from being married to this organization part of my brain: “Next year the Sox are going to whiff on Gerrit Cole after a fake pursuit, and when doing a totally unnecessary interview with Chuck Garfien, one of these assholes is going to say “people want to talk about money, we gave the largest contract in baseball history to a player who hadn’t debuted.” You can wait til then or get a little pissed about that inevitability now.”
You are so right. You know these idiots are going to say, “See, we told you we’d spend the money.”
Lord knows they’ve already gone to the “we paid Luis Robert” well a few times.
@Jim Margalus The blockquote black text on gray background in comments might need some tweaking for legibility.
I’m kinda confused with this contract. Did we just pay him $43 million dollars for one extra year of control?
They guaranteed him $43m with another $44m in options to avoid the risk of having to pay $120m+/-.
If his rookie contract is 7 years and we are paying him $80m aren’t we just paying him 80 million for one more year?
You’re not getting the full picture if you only look at what this guarantees against the minimum he might be paid.
The mistake you’re making is thinking that team control = minimum salary. Team control includes arbitration years.
I think this is the only time in the past six months the White Sox did something I can say is, simply, good.
That’s what I thought. The peanut gallery says nay.
the peanut gallery can not be pleased. will not be pleased. there is no pleasing the peanut gallery. sorry Buffalo Bob.
Let’s call this what it really is: Hahn is scrambling to cover left field after Nicky Delmonico’s concussion.
I can’t wait for the season to start so the front office can stop making decisions. I also wish Hahn and Co would watch that Seinfeld episode where George just decided to do the opposite of his instinct and then miraculously found his fortunes turning.
Now can we get Robert ready for center field, his talent level far exceeds Engel. On the job training with his friends.
If I was making the decision this is exactly what I’d do! So it has to be right. He’ll shine brighter on the bigger stage.